Volume 4 Number 262 Fri. February 20, 2004    
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Front Pagearrow Tk 310cr farm subsidy plan scuttled
The finance ministry has rejected a Tk 310 crore proposal for subsidy for diesel-run pumps, dashing some 10 million farmers' hope for a reduced irrigation cost, official sources told The Daily Star yesterday.
 arrow Move to put hartal culture to rest
Leaders of the business community have decided to meet the prime minister and the leader of the opposition in parliament seeking a lasting solution to 'hartal culture' that they noted causes immense harm
 arrow Failure to reduce rate would be "cynical indifference": Hasina
The four-day Asia Pacific summit on microcredit ended yesterday with a commitment to increase efforts to provide microloans to the ultra poor and fulfil the millenium goal of halving the world's poorby
 arrow Cops seal AL office, spoil programme
Police yesterday blocked roads to the venue for an International Mother Language Day discussion, organised by the main opposition Awami League (AL) in Dhaka, which boiled over into a protest rally.
 arrow Coalition dismisses snap polls demand
The BNP and its ruling coalition partners yesterday dismissed the opposition demand for the government to quit office and announce mid-term elections as 'illogical, undemocratic and unconstitutional.
 arrow Privatisation of oil cos uncertain
Prospects for privatisation of state-owned petroleum distribution companies looks bleak as the Oil, Gas, Road and River Transportation Workers' Council seems firm to resist any government move to offload
 arrow Nepal continue to marvel
Giant-killers Nepal are within sight of a place in the Super League stages after defeating no-hopers Uganda in their final group B match of the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup at the MA Aziz Stadium in
 arrow JP returns to Sangsad
Lawmakers of the Jatiya Party (Ershad) returned to the Jatiya Sangsad yesterday in the wake of the government's announcement in parliament of fulfillment of their demands and hectic backstage parley.
 arrow AL rejects anti-graft body
Awami League leader lawmaker Suranjit Sengupta yesterday rejected the Anti-corruption Commission Bill 2004, passed by the Parliament Wednesday, saying the bill would neither ensure independence of the
 arrow Iran train death toll rises to 320
Iranian mothers yesterday sifted through charred bodies, shredded by the explosion of a runaway train that killed at least 320 people, trying to find enough of their loved ones for a fitting burial.
 arrow Denial of basic rights now an everyday affair
The people are now suffering mainly due to violation of the constitution in governance and denial of their fundamental rights has become an everyday affair.
 arrow SC judge appointment adds to superseding
The government yesterday appointed a judge to the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court by superseding a senior judge of the High Court Division.
 arrow Cops want phones with caller ID
Law-enforcement agencies have called for telephones with caller identification device to detect anonymous callers blamed for spreading bomb and fire scares.
 arrow Two more GIs killed in Iraq
Insurgents killed two American soldiers yesterday in a roadside bombing west of Baghdad as the United States was reportedly ready to make major changes in its blueprint for handing over power to a new
 arrow Traditional venue ends up in BNP's JSSS hands
Ruling BNP's cultural front has forced the Sammilita Sangskritik Jote (SSJ), a non-political cultural body that had been organising the Amar Ekushey programmes since 1984, to shift its traditional venue
 arrow More 'pro-BNP staff' brought to Dhaka zone of Titas
The Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Ltd (TGTDCL) yesterday transferred its 26 Dhaka-based staff to accommodate pro-BNP trade unionists from different zones outside the capital.
 arrow Concern over below-par madrassah edn
Most teachers, students and unscrupulous board officials are responsible for substandard education in 16,429 registered madrashas across Bangladesh, a parliamentary body observed at a meeting yesterday.
 arrow Another Taslima book banned
The government has banned another book of controversial writer Taslima Nasrin, now living in exile.
 arrow Bombs go off in cinema, 4 injured
Four people were injured when three hand bombs went off at a movie house at Rupsha upazila last night.
 arrow Fine arts students bedeck the walls near the Central Shaheed Minar...

 arrow AL demands judicial probe after visit
Deputy Leader of the Opposition in Parliament Abdul Hamid yesterday demanded immediate formation

of a judicial inquiry commission to probe what he said was recent unprecedented brutality on innocent

 arrow Top PBCP boss, 5 others held
Law enforcers held six cadres including a regional commander of outlawed Purbo Banglar Communist Party (PBCP-ML Janajuddha) in the south-western region on Wednesday.
 arrow People try to salvage their last things...

 arrow Bela serves legal notice on 2 secys, BCIC chairman
Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (Bela), an NGO, yesterday served legal notice on the secretaries of the industries, environment and forest ministries, and chairman of the Bangladesh Chemical
 arrow Polls after occupation ends in Iraq
Holding elections in Iraq may not be possible before the end of June when the US-led occupation is due to end, UN chief Kofi Annan said in an interview published yesterday.
 arrow Khosru blames media for price spiral
Commerce Minister Amir Khosru Mahmud Chowdhury yesterday blamed syndicated media reports 'with political design' for the price hike of essentials.
Businessarrow Allow microfinance bodies to mobilise deposits from public
Central bankers from some Asian countries have suggested allowing microfinance institutions to mobilise savings from the public that will enable them to provide larger loans to the poor.
 arrow CEMS machinery exposition begins Sunday in Dhaka
A three-day machinery exposition begins Sunday in Dhaka showcasing latest technology machinery from more than 12 countries.
 arrow India banks on spiritual tourism, eyes 15pc growth
As India looks forward to register a record 15 percent growth of its tourism sector in 2004, the new buzzword is spiritual tourism.
 arrow Dhaka for stronger trade cooperation within D8
The 4th Summit of the Developing Eight (D8) concluded in Tehran Wednesday with a renewed call to expand economic cooperation within the bloc.
 arrow Microcredit needs to be linked with commercial financing
A high official of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (Ifad) suggested linking microcredit with commercial financing for sustainability.
 arrow Kashem Ahmed made general secy of Council of Chamber Presidents
Abul Kashem Ahmed were elected general secretary of Council of Chamber Presidents (CCP) for the next two years in its annual meeting here yesterday.
 arrow Parjatan motel to be leased
An agreement was signed between Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation (BPC) and Best Eastern for leasing BPC's motel Laboni in Cox's Bazar to private sector.

The motel will be leased for Tk 56.

 arrow Chinese firms' buying spree ups steel prices: Khosru
Commerce Minister Amir Khosru Mahmud Chowdhury yesterday informed the parliament that a buying spree of raw materials by Chinese construction firms in the international market had upped the prices ofconstruction
 arrow Consistent policy, transparency key to banking sector, says Pak governor
Consistency of economic and financial policy, stronger corporate governance, strict maintenance of transparency are prerequisite to improving the banking sector of developing countries, chief of the Pakistan
 arrow EU, US, Africa, encouraged about WTO after informal trade talks in Kenya
Top trade officials from the United States, the European Union and Africa said Wednesday they had emerged from informal talks in Kenya encouraged about the future of the current stalled round of WTO negotiations.
Sportsarrow Cricket: Tigers start brightly
Tapash Baisya took a wicket in his first over of consecutive sessions, and Mohammad Rafique chipped in with two big wickets after tea, as Bangladesh gave Zimbabwe a run for their money on a rain-shortened
 arrow Cricket: Any win will do
The task is simple for Bangladesh going into their final group match against India. They need a win today if they are to progress to the Super League phase of the Fifth ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup.
 arrow Cricket: Nepal, Zimbabwe can dream
Giant slayers Zimbabwe and Nepal firmly put back the pressure on international cricket heavyweights Australia and South Africa after securing wins in the ICC U/19 Cricket World Cup yesterday.
 arrow Cricket: Ex-stars already into it
Even as cricket officials struggle to work out the details of India's Test tour of Pakistan next month, veteran players from either side have already renewed the rivalry.
 arrow Cricket: Lanka plan spin-wise
Sri Lanka hope to silence Australia's devastating batting line-up with a pack of spinners in the five-match one-day series beginning here on Friday.
 arrow Cricket: Proteas target Fleming
South Africa have marked New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming as the single most influential figure on the outcome of the third one-day international here Friday.
 arrow Cricket: Spinners' action causes ICC a concern
Cricket's ruling body is commissioning research into the bowling action of spinners to counter suggestions that certain bowlers are being protected.
 arrow Cricket: School qtrs from today
Loretto take on AK High School at the Mirpur Outer Stadium while Pragati High School play Rama-tullah Model High School at the Residential Model High School ground as the Dhaka Zonal quarterfinal round
 arrow Football: Badda, D'mondi share points
Badda Jagarani Sangsad and Dhanmondi Club played out a goalless draw in the lone Western Union Premier Football League match at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.
 arrow Athletics: Chambers battles for survival
European 100 metres champion Dwain Chambers hoped to be cleared of a charge that he used a performance-enhancing drug banned by the World Anti Doping Agency when he appeared before a secret disciplinary
 arrow Tennis: Martin makes Roddick sweat
Top seed Andy Roddick reached the second round of the 880,000-dollar hard-court tennis tournament here Wednesday, but veteran Todd Martin made him work to get there.
 arrow Football: Mixed day for heavyweights
European champions France were comfortable winners over Belgium on Wednesday but two of their main challengers for Euro 2004, Italy and the Czech Republic, drew on a night of friendly matches.
 arrow Football: Irish hold Brazil
World champions Brazil were held to a goalles draw by the Republic of Ireland in an entertaining friendly international in front of a capacity 44,000 crowd at Lansdowne Road here Wednesday.
 arrow Football: Scolari's WC ploy for Portugal
Eighteen months after guiding Brazil to their fifth World Cup crown, Luiz Felipe Scolari believes the application of his winning formula is starting to pay dividends for Portugal.
 arrow Football: Leeds to fight Viduka ban
Relegation-threatened Leeds United plan to challenge a FIFA ban on Mark Viduka playing against Manchester United on Saturday following an Australian soccer protest.
 arrow Football: Draw of honour
Republic of Ireland manager Brian Kerr kept his emotions in check but there was no disguising his pride after a friendly goalless draw with world champions Brazil here at Lansdowne Road.
Metropolitanarrow Jubo League protest rallies at thana HQs Feb 23
Bangladesh Awami Jubo League, youth front of the opposition Awami League, will hold rallies at thana headquarters on February 23 protesting the police action on its leaders and workers during hartal hours
Culturearrow Bold sweeps and economic colours
Mansur Ul Karim, who has his on-going exhibition of over 51 works at the Bengal Gallery, called "Vision of the Past", says that he grew up in Faridpur, and went into painting to overcome a feeling of
 arrow Ekushey programmes at Rabindra Sarovar
Rabindra Sarovar Unmukta Mancha commonly known to the Dhaka residents as amphi-theatre by the Dhanmondi Lake once again gleamed to its proportion as the Ekushey programmes continue.
 arrow The splendour of Mati o Manush is back
Agriculture, the mainstay of our national economy, plays a vital role in providing the maximum GDP.
 arrow Songs to pacify grief
A few days ago in the middle of the night the Central Shaheed Minar premises was filled with striking tunes performed by some eminent artistes.
 arrow Johora Hasin Manju now in city
A poet as well as singer Johora Hasin Manju has recently come to Dhaka from the USA, says a press release.
 arrow Scoop

Generalarrow Lack of proper care, poor treatment facilities alleged
The lone adult crocodile at Chittagong zoo along with its two babies appeared to have been reeling under shock following the death of its female partner a month ago.
 arrow Mystery shrouds death of CCC official
Mystery has shrouded the death of an official of Chittagong City Corporation (CCC), who was also the younger brother of a BNP leader.
 arrow '5m city people have no access to safe water, sanitation'
About 50 lakh city people including the urban poor do not have access to safe water and sanitation, said the speakers at a workshop yesterday.
 arrow Ties with Bangladesh excellent
New Indian High Commissioner Veena Sikri yesterday made a courtesy call on Leader of the Opposition in Parliament and Awami League President Sheikh Hasina at her Dhanmondi residence.
 arrow DU Gha unit admission test today
Admission test of Gha unit (combined group) for the first year honours courses under 2003-04 session of Dhaka University will be held at 10.00am today.
 arrow President assents to 3 bills
President Iajuddin Ahmed yesterday assented to three bills passed in the current session of the 8th parliament.
 arrow Dhaka free of int'l terrorists
US Ambassador in Dhaka Harry K Thomas has categorically said that Bangladesh is free from international terrorists, but there are `goondas' and criminals.
 arrow 4 to die for killing student
A Dhaka court yesterday awarded death sentences to four and jailed another for life for the killing of college student Manjur Hossain Shimul in August, 2002.
 arrow 'Bangladesher Joy-Porajoyer Rajniti' launched
The publication ceremony of a book titled 'Bangladesher Joy-Porajoyer Rajniti' written by former minister Sarder Amjad Hossain was held at the National Press Club yesterday.
 arrow DU teachers condemn police action on pickets
One hundred and sixty teachers of Dhaka University yesterday condemned the police baton charge on the demonstrators during the recent hartals called by the Awami League (AL) and its front organisation
 arrow BSP, SSKOP agree on Feb 21 holiday
Leaders of Bangladesh Sangbadpatra Parishad (BSP) and Sangbadik-Sramik Karmachari Oikya Parishad (SSKOP) at a meeting yesterday agreed to keep newspaper offices closed on February 21, the language martyrs
 arrow 3 outlaws held in Uttara
Police yesterday arrested three members of outlawed New Biplabi Communist Party (NBCP) from Abdullahpur in Uttara.
 arrow Contraband goods seized in Ctg port
Bangladesh Coast Guard seized contraband electrical goods worth about Tk 9 lakh from a merchant ship in the Chittagong port on Wednesday.
Editorialarrow Editorial: Indo-Pak dialogue off to a good start
By past standards, it would almost seem like a miracle having happened between India and Pakistan.
 arrow Editorial: Train blast in Iran
Acountry that is still reeling under the shock and devastation of a severe earthquake that killed almost 40, 000 people, would definitely find it more than difficult to cope with another disaster caused
 arrow Blues for Bush
The new year has not been kind to US President George W. Bush, and it is possible that the tide has finally begun to turn against him.
 arrow A death on the road
His son died in the middle of the road, just about where the manhole sat like a belly button.
 arrow How much dent the opposition can cause to ruling NDA domination ?
The sound and fury of electioneering in world's largest democracy India is very much palpable.
Letters to Editorarrow Hartal-a nonsensical practice
Calling a sector-wide or general strike (hartal) is a perfectly legitimate form of civil disobedience in a pluralist democracy. The problem is with the 'enforcement' of the said strike.
 arrow Interest rates for microcredit
In the NTV talk show "Ai Shomoy", two very respected personalities in the field of microcredit in our country-- Mr Muyeed (ED, Brac) and Dr Salahuddin (MD, PKSF)-- commented on different aspects of the
 arrow An inspiring 'Bachelor'
In reply to Mr. Istiaque Uddin Rifat's letter 'A disappointing Bachelor' published on February 16, I want to say something.

Mr. Rifat's letter contained a cry for morality.

 arrow Anwar's ordeal
Tears rolled down my face when I read how Anwar was kidnapped and how he came back home. It is only a miracle and God's extreme kindness that this young lad is back in his parents' arms.
 arrow Maglev melodrama: Act II
I would like to respond to Mr SA Mansoor of Gulshan, Dhaka, February 18, with regard to the Maglev Monorail project.
 arrow French ban on hijab
The French National Assembly (Lower House of the Parliament) has already passed the Hijab ban Law.
 arrow Mother Language Day
Ekushey (International Mother Language Day) has come again. Ekushey book fair is abuzz with crowd. There are many festivals going on in the Central Shaheed Minar.
 arrow Intolerance gripping our politics
The following lines in your February 14 editorial caught my attention: "It seems both the government and the opposition are bent on punishing the ordinary people -- one by its lack of governance and doing
Environmentarrow The importance of environmental ethics
Ethics is a science which deals with the norm of humans and that is why William Lillie (1989) gives definition of ethics as "Ethics is the science of the conduct of human beings living in society --
Urbanarrow The transformation of the old houses of Dhaka
Architecture through the ages has been shaped by human need, matched by technological advances.
Worldarrow US keeps a watchful eye on Pakistani nukes
Keen to ensure that Pakistan's non-involvement in any kind of proliferating activity, the United States is said to be applying the required pressure on Islamabad to ensure that its nuclear technologies
 arrow 'Pakistan, India's dialogue timetable a breakthrough'
An agreement between Pakistan and India on a timetable for dialogue was hailed as a breakthrough by analysts here who said it showed the nuclear rivals were serious about resolving their disputes.
 arrow Asia urged to intensify war on bird flu
Health experts urged Asian countries yesterday to intensify the war on a deadly bird flu showing no signs of receding and threatening to evolve into a Sars-like epidemic.
 arrow BJP to expose Cong 'misdeeds': Naidu
Lashing out at the Congress for launching 'India cheated campaign' against it, BJP yesterday said it would hit back by exposing that party's "misdeeds" during 50 years of rule which "ruined" the country.
 arrow Only peace can ensure functioning of Nepal's democracy: King
Nepal's king said restoration of peace and security was key to the smooth functioning of democracy in the nation racked by a Maoist revolt but made no mention of when he might restore elected rule.
 arrow Blast danger recedes at Iranian train disaster site
Firemen yesterday extinguished the last blazes on a runaway freight train loaded with fuel and chemicals that blew up in eastern Iran and killed nearly 300 people, allowing rescue workers to start digging
 arrow Sharon presents outline of disengagement plan to US delegation
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was meeting with a team of US officials yesterday to present his controversial programme for "disengagement" from the Palestinians as Jewish settler chiefs vowed to
 arrow Bush admin may alter Iraq's self-rule plan
The Bush administration is considering a major shift in its plan for transition to Iraqi self-rule, possibly extending and expanding the US-appointed Governing Council so it can take temporary control